The President’s advisers. Some close contacts


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Around President Klaus Iohannis seems to be gathering a team of advisers with unsuspected links between them and the business world and even more. The last one joining the team is Constantin Dudu Ionescu, former Interior Minister with the CDR government. Many people wondered how has he arrived at Cotroceni Palace, but few remember that the current head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Eduard Hellvig had been adviser of the former interior minister in 1999.

Dudu Ionescu is the wedding godfather of the current SRI chief. Until being appointed as adviser with the Cotroceni Palace, the former Minister figured as an associate with a company owned by Ovidiu Tender, sentenced to prison in the first court, informs.

Eduard Hellvig worked not only with Dudu Ionescu, but with a company led by Dan Mihalache (former social-democrat, adviser to former PM Adrian Nastase, currently member of the National Liberal Party – PNL, head of the presidency’s chancellery). Hellvig had a consultancy contract with SC DIB MEDIA CONSULTANCY SRL, whose manager until 2011 had been Dan Mihalache. Following this agreement had a trial with ANI, which he won in the meantime.

Both Dan Mihalache and Eduard Hellvig were close collaborators of the former Liberal leader Crin Antonescu. After the former PNL leader lost the party leadership and quit the presidential race, the two moved to the team of Klaus Iohannis.

For example, Dan Mihalache remained throughout the 2014 electoral campaign the local assistant of MEP Adina Valean (Crin Antonescu’s wife). He concluded the contract shortly before being officially named head of the presidential administration. It should be noted that during the electoral campaign, when Dan Mihalache was Klaus Iohannis’s strategist, he was also working as the local assistant to MEP Adina Valean.

Finally, another presidential adviser, Andrei Muraru, has become the protagonist of a dangerous relationship, after President Johannis decorated Octav Bjoza, a former legionary sympathizer. Vladimir Tismaneanu demanded the resignation of former director of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes (ICCMER). Muraru has a bad reputation as manager of the funds received from German foundations since he was the institute’s manager, further says.

Andrei Muraru is the twin brother of Alexander Muraru, who had a virulent attack against the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Supreme Court) Livia Stanciu, in a text in which he was defending the former justice minister Tudor Chiuariu, sentenced to prison for corruption. Alexander Muraru was the personal adviser to the former Liberal leader Relu Fenechiu and adviser with the Ministry of Justice and to the then Minister of Justice Tudor Chiuariu. His twin brother, Andrei Muraru, was director of IICMER.

Let’s also remember that the former presidential adviser George Scutaru is prosecuted for complicity to bribery and money laundering, being heard at the National anti-corruption Directorate last week.

According to the prosecutors’ charges, a high ranking official from the local administration pretended and received EUR 1 M from another person, as bribery for supporting the latter to get a land in Buzau in 2008.

According to a previous deal, the local official, who is also indicted in this case, gave George Scutaru EUR 170,000, the sum being concealed through advertising contracts used in the 2008 electoral campaign.

Sources said it is about the corruption case of former leader of Buzau County Council, Cristinel Bigiu, who would have stated the ‘bribe’ was directed to the Liberals’ electoral campaign. George Scutaru used to be leader of Buzau branch of the National Liberal Party in 2008, as well as in 2012.


Victor Lupu

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